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Wound Healing and Sleep: How Adequate Rest Supports the Healing Process

Wound Healing and Sleep: How Adequate Rest Supports the Healing Process

Wound healing is a complex process that requires the body to undergo a series of physiological changes. Adequate rest, sleep in particular, plays an crucial role in the healing process. Sleep not only helps the body recover from physical and mental stress but also supports the immune system and promotes tissue regeneration. 

A good rest prepares you for a better recovery.

Understanding Wound Healing

Wound healing is a natural process that involves a series of overlapping phases, namely hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. The process begins with hemostasis, where the body forms a clot to stop bleeding. The next phase, inflammation, involves the activation of immune cells that release cytokines, growth factors, and enzymes that clean the wound and prepare it for healing.

During the proliferation phase, new tissue is formed, and blood vessels grow into the wound bed, providing nutrients and oxygen for healing. In the final remodeling phase, the wound contracts, and the newly formed tissue matures and strengthens, resulting in a scar. While the body can initiate and maintain the healing process, several factors, including nutrition, stress, and sleep, can influence the rate and quality of wound healing.

The Importance of Sleep in Wound Healing

Sleep is a crucial physiological process that supports overall health and wellbeing. During sleep, the body undergoes repair and restoration processes that facilitate healing, including tissue repair, muscle growth, and immune function. Adequate sleep promotes the release of growth hormone and cytokines that stimulate tissue repair and regeneration, while also reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.

Sleep also plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system, which is essential for wound healing. The immune system relies on adequate sleep to function optimally, and sleep deprivation can lead to immune dysfunction and delayed wound healing. Furthermore, sleep helps regulate the stress response, which can impact the rate and quality of wound healing.

How Sleep Promotes Wound Healing

Sleep promotes wound healing through several mechanisms, including:

Tissue Repair and Regeneration

During sleep, the body releases growth hormone, which is essential for tissue repair and regeneration. Growth hormone stimulates the production of collagen, a critical component of the extracellular matrix that provides structural support for tissues. Collagen is also essential for wound healing, as it forms a scaffold for new tissue growth and helps promote angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels.

Immune Function

Sleep plays a vital role in supporting the immune system, which is essential for wound healing. The immune system relies on sleep to function optimally, and sleep deprivation can lead to immune dysfunction and delayed wound healing. During sleep, the body produces cytokines, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), which play a crucial role in the inflammatory response and tissue repair.

Reduction of Inflammation

Inflammation is a crucial component of the wound healing process. However, excessive or prolonged inflammation can impede the healing process and lead to chronic wounds. Sleep promotes the resolution of inflammation by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and increasing the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-10 (IL-10).

Stress Reduction

Stress can impact wound healing by increasing inflammation and delaying tissue repair. Sleep helps regulate the stress response by reducing the production of stress hormones, such as cortisol, and promoting the release of relaxing neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).


Tips for Improving Sleep Quality for Wound Healing

Getting adequate and restful sleep is essential for wound healing. Here are some tips for improving sleep quality:

  • Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can help regulate your body’s circadian rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up. Try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends.

  • Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Your sleep environment can impact the quality of your sleep. Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Consider investing in a comfortable mattress and pillows.

  • Avoid Stimulants Before Bedtime

Stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can disrupt sleep. Avoid consuming these substances before bedtime.

  • Limit Screen Time Before Bed

The blue light emitted by electronic devices can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Limit your screen time before bedtime or use blue light filters on your devices.

  • Practice Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep.


Sleep plays an essential role in wound healing, supporting tissue repair and regeneration, immune function, and reducing inflammation and stress. By understanding the relationship between sleep and wound healing and adopting healthy sleep habits, we can facilitate the healing process and promote overall health and wellbeing.

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Tiredness (also known as fatigue) is an extremely common problem. In fact, “why am I so tired?” was one of the most frequently searched questions of the last 2 years at Google. The answers can vary, since tiredness can come from a physiological or psychological condition. In this article we’ll discuss 10 of the main causes of fatigue.   


Anemia is a condition characterized by a low number or abnormal shape of red blood cells. In some countries up to 10% of the population is at risk of developing some kind of anemia, mostly due to low levels of iron. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to it. There are several types of anemia; however, the one caused by iron deficiency is the most commonly related to fatigue.

Iron deficiency is related to fatigue mainly because this ion is essential for oxygen transportation, ATP production (the main energy currency of the cell) and muscle function. People with this condition usually experience dizziness and get tired easily.


This condition involves blocking of the upper airways during sleep which leads to short periods where the person is not able to breathe. This can be caused by a number of factors like obesity, genetic disorders, kidney failure, etc.   

The lack of sleep and sudden shortage of oxygen eventually lead to general sleepiness and fatigue in most cases. So far, women have proved to be more vulnerable to this condition.


The condition is also known as Hypothyroidism. It is characterized by a low production of important hormones. Since early symptoms are very common for many other diseases, people can spend many years without being diagnosed.

Usually, the symptoms include weight gain, depression, muscle ache, sensitivity to cold, dry skin and hair and of course, fatigue.

This condition can be treated with hormone therapy.


Also known as infectious mononucleosis, this infection is mostly seen in adolescents or adults who haven’t been infected with the Epstein-Barr virus before, people can be infected and show no symptoms for nearly 2 months. 

Although fever is the main symptom, fatigue is the one that lasts the longest (up to 6 months after the infection).


Depression is the term usually used when someone feels sad or anxious for an extended period of time. People that have been depressed for a long period of time (over 2 years) can develop feelings of tiredness as part of a particular form of depression called dysthymia.

However, in literature, is common to see depression as the consequence of chronic fatigue syndrome. People who live with the syndrome often spend very long periods of their lives without effective treatment of diagnosis, which leads to feelings of hopelessness and eventually depression.

There are plenty of other reasons for why you may feel tired all the time, for example, if you are fighting an infection, it often triggers what some call “sickness behavior”, which sometimes includes fatigue. Overall, any condition related to chronic inflammation has the potential to cause tiredness. Or it simply could be that you need to make dietary changes. Whatever the case, if you If you experience long periods of fatigue and are concerned, talk to your doctor.  

Hector Osorio 29 Jan 2019

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